How do you fight cancer in an infected patient? Conventional wisdom would say that you do it by attacking the cancer cells in the body. When it comes to terrorism however, the West's prescription for fighting terrorism is to attack the healthy cells in the body instead.
If international terrorism is a cancer, the middle east is practically late stage terminal. Yet the one place in the middle east that is not producing cancer cells, the Jewish population of Israel, is the one that all the professional diplomats and surgeons busy playing surgeon are so eager to cut out.
The conventional wisdom among diplomats and pundits has it that the one non-Arab and non-Muslim state in the Middle East is the cause of all the Arab and Islamic terrorism. Which is a little like a doctor diagnosing the healthy parts of the body as cancerous and arguing that the cancer would go away if we simply got rid of the last healthy organ in the body.
An intelligent approach to the Middle East would have been to empower the Jewish, Christian, Sufi and Zoroastrian populations of the Middle East, to raise up the minority Assyrian, Kurdish, Armenian, Azeri and Coptic populations consistently persecuted by the Arab, Persian and Muslim majorities who sponsor and conduct terrorism against the West. Instead the United States has consistently disregarded their rights and focused instead on appeasing the region's Arab, Persian Nationalist and Islamic tyrannies.
For over a century the West has buried itself in wishful thinking that the Arab and Muslim tyrannies of the Middle East would grow into good allies if only we provided them with money and weapons. But that has never taken place and rather than admit their fundamental error and look for truer friends in the Middle East, the diplomats have taken the side of the cancer cells insisting that somehow the Sunnis would embrace the Shia, Syria would cease interfering in Lebanon, the tyrannies of the Middle East would become democracies and Saudi Arabia would abandon its Wahhabist motivated Jihad against the West-- if only Israel was no longer in the way.
Western politicians who thrive on popular elections attack the problem of Arab and Muslim hostility by trying to win them over, instead of accepting the inevitable reality that people who find your culture, beliefs and successes hateful will inevitably hate you. To win the favor of those who hate the West, excising the healthy part of the Middle East that does not hate America or the West has become the accepted solution. There is a fundamental sickness in turning on your friends in the hopes of appeasing your enemies, it is a sickness born out of cowardice and fear. Fear of the growing power of a bully known as Islamic terrorism.
We are repeatedly badgered with solemn lectures on the importance of understanding the perspective of our enemies. In doing so the diplomats and the politicians have forgotten the secret that every child who has been told by his parents to try to understand the bully knows, bullies are remarkably simple to understand. Bullies bully because they can. Terrorism exists because it can exist., just as any form of widespread violence or criminality exists because it is tolerated. Terrorism in the middle east is not some noble act of desperation but an extension of the tribal raiding employed even before the days of Mohammed, fused with Western tactics and ideology borrowed from Anarchists, Marxists, Nazis and assorted political terrorists. Modern Islamic terrorist attacks are simply updated Bedouin nomad raids with makeshift 21st century technology overlaid with an Islamic cult of martyrdom.
To its apologists, terrorism appears as some sort of mystical spirit outraged against tyranny that can never be suppressed. But as the United States has demonstrated in Iraq, terrorism exists where it is given breathing room. Where it is suppressed, it ceases to exist. The Surge turned some of the most fearsome areas of Iraq such as Fallujah into places where American soldiers could feel comfortable. American liberals mock the idea that the War on Terror is what has prevented further terrorist attacks but Israel has repeatedly demonstrated that in the wake of strikes against terrorists, terrorist attacks drop sharply. Jordan suppressed its own Palestinian Arab intifada in a short burst of ruthless violence. Syria and Iraq aborted their own Islamist uprisings even more brutally. Egypt managed to stave off an Islamic takeover with jail cells and batons. The Shah of Iran had his hands tied by the Carter administration and so did not and in his place came the Ayatollahs of the Iranian nuclear theocracy. All these tactics are not morally equivalent but they do demonstrate that Islamic terrorism is very much vulnerable to the use of force.
Fear of cancer and the harsh measures of cancer treatment can drive patients into the arms of quacks and hucksters offering alternative remedies, some useless and some openly poisonous. Such remedies may seem easy but easy remedies can serve as the gateway to slow pain and death. Terrorism like cancer inspires fear, not merely of individual death, but a helpless terror before some unnameable and unstoppable force. For decades the quacks and hucksters of state departments and foreign offices have been promising the easy remedy, the cure of shrinking down and finally perhaps even eliminating Israel. Once the last healthy organ in the Middle East has been cut out, they assure us, the Middle East will be healthy again. They lie.
The only cure for any serious disease, biological or political or social is to resist it. The failure to resist it means decay, rot and eventually death. The reforms and concessions that spread the disease are often done in the name of somehow normalizing and accommodating the infection with the rest of the body, yet all it accomplishes is to destroy the healthy part of the social and political organism. Such concessions, though they may be done by liberal politicians, are almost always done out of craven fear and that fear is the first step to total destruction. Fear leads to surrender and surrender leads to the spread of the problem and that leads to widespread dysfunction and finally death.
Appeasement and concessions are terms that should have been buried after WW2 besides the murdered Czech soldiers sold out by Chamberlain at Munich. Yet the West tirelessly continues signing "Munich Agreements" on behalf of Israel which are nothing more than contracts of national destruction. Until the West understands that the front line of the Jihad is everywhere that a Muslim population exists, there will be no peace only more death and destruction. Appeasement is the way of the frightened coward and appeasement at the cost of another is the gravest form of perfidy. Yet appeasement continues to recur throughout human history when weakened civilizations confront the grinning barbarian menace and shrink back. Churchill for a time proved that Chamberlain did not represent the spirit of the West, yet once again the spirit of Chamberlain has taken up stolid residence in the history haunted legislative and executive chambers of Europe and America.
Until the West relearns the lesson of meeting force with superior force, of meeting trickery with superior trickery and commitment with absolute commitment, the Jihad will roll on. The Jihad is the problem. Resistance is the cure.